President Arif Alvi dispelled the notion that Pakistan played a role in the regime-change in Afghanistan, saying that it understood the situation in the war-torn country better than the countries trying to “create a situation of peace”.
In an interview with Khaleej Times, Alvi was asked a question on the “popular notion that Pakistan directly or indirectly supported the regime-change” in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan did not spend any money in Afghanistan in this manner,” Alvi responded. “$2.3 trillion went in, the entire NATO was there handling it. The world thinks Pakistan played a role like that. Pakistan did not.”
“Pakistan understood the situation better than the countries that have been trying to create a situation of peace. I should tell the world that no country has taken the burden (like Pakistan has).”
Alvi added that Islamabad has also played a very active and positive role in the repatriation of diplomats and other people from Afghanistan.
While talking about the next step, Alvi said that Pakistan and the world want peace and there was a need to understand the situation in Afghanistan.
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“Without an economy, without a government, the obvious situation will deteriorate into chaos with hunger when people cannot work. The world should learn from all that,” he said.
“There is no room for a cold war kind of situation anymore, every country has to cooperate.”
He said Pakistan supports humanitarian aid and developing the economy of Afghanistan as it will be a chaotic situation if they are made to be totally independent.
“Therefore, we are looking at a softer view on Afghanistan. You cannot expect a group of people in exile to all of a sudden come into governance and establish tremendous governance,” the president said.
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When asked if Pakistan wants to be the main player, the president replied in the negative, saying that Islamabad wants peace in Afghanistan.
Inflation throughout the world
Meanwhile, talking about inflation in Pakistan and whether Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s dream is being fulfilled, the president responded, “Of course it is being fulfilled. There is inflation throughout the world but it pinches us more because we are a less prosperous country,” he said.
His statement comes after inflation reading for the month of September clocked in at 9%, the highest in three months, amid fear that the spike in global commodity prices would cause further pressure in coming months.
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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has already hiked the interest rate by 25 basis points, mindful of the widening current account deficit and inflationary pressures.
However, Alvi said Pakistan should be able to handle the situation even as prices of international commodities surged to new highs.
“Despite coronavirus, Pakistan showed more than 3% growth rate,” he said. “I have great hope in Pakistan.”